Thursday, 8 December 2011

Sci-Fi? Ah, no, San Francisco

A number of readers - including author Jeremy Duns, who dragged himself away from his plagiarism research to Tweet me - have alerted me to an excellent overview of Len Deighton's work in the SF Daily. That's SF for San Francisco, not Science Fiction as I first thought, confused.

The article - here - by Casey Burchby, makes the case that Deighton's works have stood the test of time, as we near the fiftieth anniversary of The Ipcress File next year in 2002. I think Casey's opening analysis of Len's position in the literary world is pretty accurate:
"For many of us, Len Deighton may be a shadowy name at best. His best-sellerdom, though it lasted decades, is now a memory. (His most recent novel was published in 1996.) Yet Deighton is one of the best writers of the second half of the 20th century, being a master of spy fiction as well as a major contributor to the literature of World War II in fictional and nonfictional forms."
Well worth a read.

1 comment:

  1. A commonality explored by LeCarre, also: "Our unnamed hero's world is not glamorous. He endures the drudgery, the personality clashes, and the pettiness that infests most other jobs in the world."Much has been made of the "information" the unnamed hero has access to in these books and, especially, the Bernard Samson books. However, intentionally or not, Deighton creates a world that has layers and one where the protagonist is not a superman, knowing everything. Which is very much an accurate portrait of life. Nobody knows the full breadth of what is going on in their environment, and that adds to Deighton's work. Deighton has a way of making his real heroes likable in spite of their flaws. At the end of the day you don't want to really be "unnamed hero/Harry," or live Bernard Samson's life that is filled with friends and family of questionable allegiances and work ethics and a bank account constantly in overdraft. However, knowing them is something of a desire for many.